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Freetown, Massachusetts

From Academic Kids

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Location of Freetown.

Freetown is a town located in Bristol County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 8,472.

Contents

History

Freetown, Massachusetts was first settled in 1659 on the banks of the Assonet River, when the areas of Assonet and Fall River were purchased from the Wampanoag Indians in an exchange known as Ye Freemen's Purchase. It slowly populated, and existed as a Proprietary settlement until it was officially incorporated in 1683. It remained a part of Plymouth Colony until that colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1685.

Throughout the 1700s, the town continued to grow and prosper. In 1747, through the Pocasset Purchase, the village of East Freetown (at the time called "New Freetown") was acquired from Tiverton, Rhode Island which was then part of Massachusetts. The townspeople were also some of America's earliest patriots, fighting in King Philip's War and other local skirmishes. On May 28, 1775, during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Freetown was fought in a part of the town that is now part of the city of Fall River.

In 1803, Fall River separated from the town, and incorporated as Troy. In 1815, a portion of the town was annexed by Fairhaven, which at the time controlled Acushnet, Massachusetts. That part of East Freetown remains part of Acushnet to this day.

Throughout the 18th, 19th, and early 20th Centuries, Freetown served as a very industrious area. Blast furnaces, fishing, textiles, and manufacturing all came to and left Freetown, eventually allowing the area to regain its former rural charm. One of the more well-known industries was N. R. Davis & Sons, a gun manufactory that provided many weapons for the Civil War.

One Massachusetts governor, Marcus Morton, has hailed from Freetown. The town has also boasted a number of representatives to the General Court, the state's legislature. Freetown celebrated its tricentennial in 1983, and continues to flourish as a primary example of a rural New England small town.

The Town is currently home to two Historic Districts of the National Register of Historic Places: the Assonet Village Historic District, and the East Freetown Historic District.

Schools

As with most rural areas, Freetown had country schoolhouses dotting its landscape.

As part of its Post War improvements, the town constructed an 8-room schoolhouse known as Freetown Elementary School (http://www.freelake.mec.edu/FES/) on a tract of land roughly in the center of the town. That central area now boasts a park with a miniature Fenway Park, the Freetown Police Station, the Freetown Senior Center, and Freetown Fire Department Station 3.

Freetown would also find itself in need of secondary education space, as its agreements with surrounding cities and towns grew thin. In 1955, Freetown, Berkley, Carver, Lakeville, and Rochester formed a planning committee for a regional high school. Carver later dropped from the board, and the remaining towns voted. Freetown and Lakeville approved the school, while the others did not. On April 8, 1957, voters in Freetown and Lakeville approved construction of Apponequet Regional High School. Farm land on Howland Road in Lakeville was donated, and the school opened on September 21, 1959 to serve grades 7-12.

In 1972, the two towns opened the George R. Austin Middle School, a 5-8 facility which closed in 2002 and was replaced by the Freetown-Lakeville Middle School. GRAMS has recently been converted into an intermediate school to cover grades 4 and 5.

Students wishing a vocational education can apply to Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School for grades 9-12. Also, because Freetown is a part of Bristol County, high school students may apply for available slots at the Bristol County Agricultural High School.

Government

Freetown is governed in the traditional New England style.

Executive Branch: Three-member Board of Selectmen with three-year staggered terms.
Legislative Branch: Open Town Meeting.

Board of Selectmen

  • John Laronda, Jr. (2006) (member since 2003)
  • John S. Ashley (2007) (member from 1981-1996, and since 1998)
  • Lawrence N. Ashley (2008) (member since 1999)

Various other boards, committees, and commissions round out the variety of services provided to residents, including scattered municipal water, trash collection, fire, ambulance, police, education, recreation, etc. Municipal elections are held on the first Monday in March, except in years of a presidential election, in which case they're held on the first Monday in April.

Representatives in General Court

Senator in General Court

Representative to the United States House of Representatives

Senators in the United States Senate


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Profile_Rock_(Assonet).jpg
This photo from a 1902 postcard shows Assonet's Profile Rock, which is said to be the image of Chief Massasoit.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 99.2 km² (38.3 mi²). 94.8 km² (36.6 mi²) of it is land and 4.4 km² (1.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.41% water.

Within Freetown are various lakes, streams, and rivers. The more prominent are Fall Brook, the Assonet River and Long Pond which the Indians called Lake Apponequet. Also within Freetown are Breakneck Hill and Joshua's Mountain, site of Profile Rock. A vast area of land shared by Freetown and Fall River makes up the Freetown-Fall River State Forest.

Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 8,472 people, 2,932 households, and 2,389 families residing in the town. The population density is 89.3/km² (231.4/mi²). There are 3,029 housing units at an average density of 31.9/km² (82.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 96.15% White, 0.72% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 0.73% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2,932 households out of which 36.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.3% are married couples living together, 8.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% are non-families. 14.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.85 and the average family size is 3.14.

In the town the population is spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $64,576, and the median income for a family is $69,368. Males have a median income of $44,639 versus $30,041 for females. The per capita income for the town is $24,237. 5.0% of the population and 2.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 3.4% of those under the age of 18 and 2.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

External links

Town of Freetown, Massachusetts (http://town.freetown.ma.us/)
Friends of Historic Preservation - Freetown, Massachusetts (http://www.assonetriver.com/preservation/default.asp)
Freetown Memorial Park Project (http://www.freetownmemorialpark.org)
Freetown Council on Aging (http://hometown.aol.com/freetowncoa/)
Freetown Historical Society (http://freetownhistory.8m.com/)
Christopher Holt's Freetown Site (http://www.homestead.com/chrisfile)
Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District (http://www.freelake.mec.edu/)

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Flag of Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Capital:

Boston

Regions:

The Berkshires | Greater Boston | Cape Cod | North Shore | Pioneer Valley | South Shore | Western Massachusetts

Cities:

Attleboro | Boston | Brockton | Cambridge | Chicopee | Fall River | Fitchburg | Gardner | Holyoke | Lawrence | Lowell | New Bedford | Northampton | Pittsfield | Salem | Springfield | Taunton | Westfield | Worcester

Towns:

Abington | Acton | Acushnet | Adams | Alford | Amherst | Andover | Aquinnah | Arlington | Ashburnham | Ashby | Ashfield | Ashland | Athol | Auburn | Avon | Ayer | Barre | Becket | Bedford | Belchertown | Bellingham | Belmont | Berkley | Berlin | Bernardston | Billerica | Blackstone | Blandford | Bolton | Bourne | Boxboro | Boxford | Boylston | Braintree | Brewster | Bridgewater | Brimfield | Brookfield | Brookline | Buckland | Burlington | Canton | Carver | Chilmark | Cohasset | Cummington | Dartmouth | Dedham | Dighton | Dover | Duxbury | East Bridgewater | Easton | Edgartown | Fairhaven | Florida | Foxborough | Freetown | Halifax | Hanover | Hanson | Hingham | Holbrook | Hopedale | Hull | Kingston | Lakeville | Mansfield | Marion | Marshfield | Mattapoisett | Medfield | Medway | Mendon | Middleborough | Milford | Millis | Millville | Milton | Needham | Norfolk | North Attleborough | Norton | Norwell | Norwood | Oak Bluffs | Pembroke | Peru | Plainville | Plymouth | Plympton | Randolph | Raynham | Rehoboth | Rochester | Rockland | Scituate | Seekonk | Sharon | Somerset | Stoughton | Swansea | Tisbury | Walpole | Wareham | Wellesley | West Bridgewater | West Tisbury | Westport | Westwood | Weymouth | Whitman | Wrentham |

Counties:

Barnstable | Berkshire | Bristol | Dukes | Essex | Franklin | Hampden | Hampshire | Middlesex | Nantucket | Norfolk | Plymouth | Suffolk | Worcester


fr:Freetown (Massachusetts)

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